Somalia - #5
Leader:President Sheikh Ahmed
Government: Islam Main Religion: Islam
Population: 9.8 million (A few hundred Christians)
The atmosphere in most Somali cities is chaotic yet functional. Even though an education policy does not exist, private schools are thriving. These are run on various curricula, depending on the founder’s education background. It seems with the reasonably working public transport, brisk business at the markets, electricity and running water, Somalis are trying hard to find a constructive middle ground amidst the hostile environment.
Seeing people get shot is such a normal part of daily life that no one seems to take notice anymore. They simply wait for the bodies to be cleared only to resume business as quickly as possible. With no justice system in place, there is no room for fist fights or slaps. Armed violence is common and is used to deal with disagreements which generally end in death. Many times more deaths follow when the deceased’s fellow gang members retaliate.
The hardest part to understand is the fact that the human life seems to have lost its value. Everyone accepts that they can die any moment.
It is astounding that there is a Church at all. When these believers embraced Christ, they embraced martyrdom. They are prepared to pay the price for their faith. However, one should not think the complications don’t affect them. The believers remain in tremendous need of our prayers.
Ready for this week's challenge?
Afghanistan - #3
Leader: President Hamid Karzai
Government: Islamic republic Main Religion: Islam
Population: 33.4 million (thousands of Christians)
Said Musa* was arrested in Kabul on 31 May 2010; he spent nearly nine months in prison, where at first he was beaten and mistreated. Finally he was able to pass on letters to the international community, and after several months he was allowed to leave the country with his family. The only way he could remain in his country was to renounce Christ and return to Islam. He chose not to do that.
The family of 8 now lives in a small apartment in a foreign country, where all of them are trying to adjust to their new life. All of them face the challenges of dealing with the past, the sense of loss of not being able to live in their own country, the culture shock of living in a foreign country where they do not know the culture or language, the loneliness of losing friends and family, the isolation plus the added strain of not knowing what the future is going to be like.
Said Musa is very grateful for everything that people have done for him and his family. However, he is struggling in this period of transition; not being able to speak the language and not having a job are major challenges. He says, "I long to have a job again and be part of a ministry. I have lost my God-given ministry which I had in my country."
Said Musa, who himself had his leg amputated after he had stepped on a landmine, used to work as orthopedic therapist in Kabul.
He became a believer because he was fascinated by the fact that two expatriate women helped after a bomb went off in his neighborhood. The fact that women would help people, who are not related to them, was such a strange phenomenon to him that he started to ask questions. Finally he got hold of a Bible and realized that it spoke truth. Musa says: "It was as a fire in my heart." He started to come together with small groups of believers. In 2010 he was arrested and imprisoned for his faith.
Ready for this week's challenge?